Honest Lawyer IPA | Court Avenue Brewing Company

33 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Court Avenue Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our west coast India Pale Ale. Brewed with huge doses of hops (almost 20 lbs. per batch). This beer features loads of piney, citrusy, hoppy flavors and aromas. Floral and grapefruit notes throughout. This bronze colored beauty is highly recommended by the brewer.

Added by WeisGuy on 06-09-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 10
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a pint glass, it was an orange/red color with a one-finger head. It was foamy and left some very nice lacing.

S - It smelled of hops and grains.

T - It tasted of strong hops (possibly Cascade or Saaz). The malt flavor compliment the great hoppy flavor.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied beer.

D - This is by far the best of the four beers that I've tried at Court Ave. It had such a hop presence that it seemed more like a DIPA. Very good.

 469 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"I don't think you can make a lawyer honest by an act of legislature. You've got to work on his conscience. And his lack of conscience is what makes him a lawyer."

--Will Rogers

Gleaming topaz with bright tangerine trim. Despite an increasingly elevated pour from the growler, no more than a thick disk of golden beige foam was created. On a good note, it has an appealing texture and doesn't fade too quickly.

The nose has a pretty significant toasted and caramel-like character. Light crystal and dark crystal malts were used, according to the brewer. He rattled off the hop bill too fast for me to remember them all, but here is a partial list: Columbus, Ahtanum, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe... and at least three others. Better to concentrate on just 2-3 varieties, methinks. Too bad the hops aren't anywhere near as pungent as they should be in beer of this style.

Here are my Honest Lawyer IPA first impressions in a nutshell: malt flavor is generous, but malt sugars aren't. Hop bitterness is generous, but hop flavor isn't. Suggested fixes would be to use a higher percentage of pale malt (personal preference), use more malt and find some way to unlock more hop flavor. Harvest Ale 2007 and Drunken Frog IPA are proof that this brewer knows how to brew good, hoppy beer.

Warming helps a little, just not enough. Flavors include well-toasted bread covered with bitter grapefruit pith, orange zest, pine oil and bitter black tea leaves. An estimated IBU count of 60-ish tastes and feels more like 90-ish due to the lack of malt sugar support. I can't imagine too many non-hopheads buying this brew a second time. Or even finishing the pint.

The body/mouthfeel is midway between APA and IPA. It starts out as the former, then hangs on long enough and delivers just enough viscosity to be considered the latter. Carbonation that is on the low end is right about where I like it.

Honest Lawyer is not the beer that I was hoping it would be. Some of my dissatisfaction has to do with design choice and some has to do with the fact that the alpha acid to hop flavor ratio is too high. Here's hoping the brewer continues to tweak and is able to come closer to some of his earlier successes (see above).

 2,211 characters

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Herky21
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of WeisGuy
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - deep reddish amber, slightly cloudy, nice sized white head with decent retention, little lacing

s - citrus and hops, not very strong aroma, but fairly bitter smelling with fruity notes

t - citrusy/fruity sweetness upfront with lots of hops and bitterness and then the alcohol which was not very well hidden, somewhat interesting

m - light-bodied, moderate carbonation, hop oils remain in mouth

d - pretty drinkable, though I might move on to other offerings after one

Nice IPA...was a bit better than I had expected. The bitterness has strange qualities that I have never tasted before...not sure whether I really liked it or not, but it was interesting. Definitely a good choice if you're at Court Avenue.

 725 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken a few weeks ago…

Served in a pint glass; hazy, coppery-bronze in hue with one finger of beige/off-white foam resting lazily onto of the liquid. Respectable head retention. A soapy cap lasted the entire consumption, tons of subsequent organized webby lace. This is a very attractive looking beer.

The nose is pleasantly hoppy, I wasn’t expecting this. It is citrusy with a kiss of pine and a nice caramel malt underbelly. Moderate potency, chatty… inviting but how can it not be? Damn, I like IPAs. I can’t wait to take a sip.

The palate is lacking a healthy malt profile, should I blame the Iowa abv restriction? I mean, more malt equals more alcohol which results in more yumminess? I detect piney, citrus hops but they are oddly thin tasting. It has caramel bready malt notes at the back. In a lot of ways this beer reminds of Spilker’s Hopluia (but slightly better). It is weakly fruity at the finish, bitter aftertaste. Overall, this is a solid IPA.

Medium/medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation, ordinary (okay, kind of weak) but workable mouthfeel. I’d like more maltiness to aid the body heft.

Tasty, drinkable… I am enjoying this quite a bit. It is freaking me out though how much this tastes like Hopluia! Well, at least there is another year-round beer at Court Ave. that I like. I enjoyed a couple of pints of these at the brewpub, these sloppy notes were taken while quaffing. Worth a try.

 1,451 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color, according to the brewer and mine eyes; head is beige with an orange tint and lasts for a good bit. Lots of lace. Well done.

The nose is bracingly hoppy, that ad copy about 20 lbs. of hops may in fact be the truth. Lots of pine mixed in with the usual citric factors. Malts are caramelized, not too strong, and leaves the Honest Lawyer pretty well balanced.

The flavor is definitely one-sided on the hops, but so are the best IPAs in the world. Lots of pine attacking the palate, with a fullness and dimension of character from what I suspect is a Cascade sort of hop. Definitely West Coast in style.

The finish is fruity with a long-lasting pine finish; the body is medium to thin, and is the place where I would look to improve this beer if I were brewing it. Overall a pretty great job.

 810 characters

Photo of Beestin
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BalancingBrooms
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bpkrippner
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Awesome with the Jambalaya.

27 characters

Photo of scaliasux
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SortaAmbivalent
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of MarshMan71
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of nsmartell
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From a growler to a standard pint glass. A friend brought this growler back to me and it sat for about 2 weeks before I could dive into it.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, deep orange color with a thin off-white head that didn't stick around for too long.

Smell: Slight citrus aroma but more in the grassy hops arena.

Taste: Same as the nose, but kind of flat. Perhaps it sat too long?

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied in feel. A little carbonation and sticky. Not too shabby.

Drinkability: Again, this might have more to do with the length of time this beer sat, but I didn't find this a very drinkable beer. Kind of flat and tasted a bit off. Not sure what that was. Overall, decent nose and mouthfeel, but lacking in the taste category.

 796 characters

Photo of NathanFink
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of jt31914
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorites (if not my favorite) from Court. It nearly tastes like a double IPA. Fresh hop and citrus flavor balanced by nice clove and coriander notes. Smells of hops with a dark amber color. Not overly drinkable, but extremely smooth and wonderful tasting. The key thing I noticed about Court's beers was that even if I wasn't a huge fan of the taste, they all had a great mouthfeel (very smooth).

 407 characters

Photo of RelentlessLefty
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Ejayz
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of styleisking
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Beerislivingproof
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Joey-bags1990
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of lionnusmb
4/5  rDev +9%

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Honest Lawyer IPA from Court Avenue Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 33 ratings.
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